Financial advisors need leads they can convert into qualified prospects that in turn are converted into revenue producing clients.
In fact, when we survey financial advisors, they say their biggest marketing challenge is producing a steady flow of new leads each month.
In the absence of a lead generation marketing strategy, financial advisors are limited to referrals that can be few and far between.
Waiting for the telephone to ring is not a viable marketing strategy if the advisors’ goals include organic growth.
In the past, most advisors used Outbound Marketing tactics to produce leads, prospects and clients for their services. The most popular tactics were cold calling and direct mail.
Neither tactic worked very well because it required financial advisors to initiate contact with investors who did not want to be contacted. Rejection rates for cold calling approached 100 percent and expensive direct mail campaigns had response rates of less than 1 percent.
Most financial advisors have abandoned these obsolete marketing tactics.
The foundation of Inbound Marketing tactics is that investors initiate contact with financial advisors. Therefore, Inbound Marketing is a more effective way to generate warm leads for advisors.
In the past, the main form of Inbound Marketing was advertising: Print, radio, TV. Investors were supposed to see advertisements and initiate contact with financial advisors. But this form of lead generation was extraordinarily expensive and all too often the results did not justify the expense.
A new form of lead generation for financial advisors is using the Internet to produce the leads. Investors find advisors on the Internet, visit their websites and initiate contact.
Financial advisors use content marketing, social media efforts, and Local SEO to produce traffic to their websites. They also have custom websites that are designed to convert traffic into qualified leads for their services.
The Internet has changed the way a lot of industries market and deliver their products and services. The Internet is just beginning to impact the business practices of the financial service industry.
Outsourcing Lead Generation
There is also a simpler, less costly solution for generating leads for financial advisors.
Pay a third party to produce the leads. These companies take on the expense of producing the leads, validating the leads and matching them to financial advisors. The matches are based on location, service requirements and the advisors’ minimum asset requirements.
The number one complaint financial advisors have about third-party lead generation services is the unresponsiveness of some investors.
On the surface, unresponsiveness defies logic. Investors find lead generation service providers on the Internet. They are routed to a landing page where they submit their information: Name, telephone, email, location, service requirements and available assets. This information is used to match them to right financial advisors.
The question for the ages is why would they submit this information and not respond when they are contacted by financial advisors? And, perhaps more importantly, what can advisors do about it?
What Investors Want?
Investors may have a variety of needs when they use the Internet to find, research and initiate contact with financial advisors. For example:
- They want immediate contact to schedule interviews
- They want to see who is available in their community
- They want to research advisors in their area
- They want to learn more about advisors
Only one example is based on immediate contact. Three examples are based on research: Find out who is available; learn more about advisors; learn more about specific advisors.
These are the only logical reasons why investors give up their anonymity to get what they want – to interview advisors or learn more about advisors. Otherwise, it is the predisposition of investors to withhold this information because they are concerned about aggressive marketing tactics that are used by a high percentage of financial advisors.
In general, there are two types of investors who use the Internet to find, research and contact financial advisors.
There are the first-time users. These investors have not used the services of financial advisors in the past. Perhaps, they are rolling money from a 401k to an IRA or they inherited money from a relative.
There are also the replacement users. They have used the services of financial advisors in the past, but for any number of reasons, they terminated the relationships and are seeking replacement advisors.
It makes sense that first-time and replacement users are very cautious when they select financial advisors. Neither one wants to make a mistake that will damage their future financial security.
The Unresponsive Investor
Investors are naturally cautious because they do not want to make mistakes. So it makes sense that they want to learn more about financial advisors in general and more about specific advisors before they start the interview process. This may cause them not to respond when they are contacted by financial advisors. They are in the data-gathering phase and are simply not ready to start interviewing advisors.
This is the only logical explanation why they would give up their anonymity and not respond to advisors.
Based on the above explanation, it is critically important that unresponsive investors are input into advisors’ lead generation systems. The CRM system is used to send periodic emails that are designed to keep advisor names and contact information in front of the leads.
This sounds simple enough, but a lot of advisors send the wrong information in their drip emails. For example, some advisors send newsletters that contain general financial information. This is a big mistake. Investors already have access to this information from a hundred other sources starting with the Wall Street Journal.
The drips should focus on the pain points of investors and describe how financial advisors can solve problems and help them achieve their most important financial goals.
The more relevant the content in advisor emails, the higher the probability investors will schedule time for interviews.
Based on the above descriptions, there are no bad leads. There are only leads that want immediate contact and leads that want deferred contact.
At the end of the day, it is always about positive Return on Investment (ROI). How much money do advisors spend on lead generation? How much revenue did they produce from the leads?
The one caveat is it may take 12 months to determine the actual ROI based on investors who want immediate contact and investors who delay contact until they are ready to talk to advisors.